How do we measure up? We have various standards we try to measure in our lives. How fit are we financially, physically? How fit are we as families? Along with these, we should also be measuring the fitness of our faith. Are we comfortable sitting in an average standard of faith? Are we spiritually unhealthy, or do we hold ourselves to a higher standard?
Romans 14:22-23 speaks to having a healthy faith, but how do we know where we stand? How do we measure up? How do administer a spiritual check-up?
Checking On Our Faith
I Peter 1:6-7 talks about the proof of our faith, enduring under trials as purifying tests. A new faith is full of life and vigor, but the trials and troubles of life can shake that faith. If our faith is only a mood or a feeling, it has no foundation. Rather, faith is commitment, and a committed faith more easily endures the tests of our lives. Truths that we grasp in the light of day do not have to be discarded during the dark times of our lives.
Romans 14:12 says each one of us will give an account to God. Our spiritual fitness is important our entire lives.
Tens Steps to a Spiritual Checkup
- Understand Disagreements. Know that differences of opinions will exist. Titus 3:9 warns us against foolish controversies over minor disagreements. I Corinthians 12:25-26 reminds us to be united in our care for each other, and I Corinthians 1:10 warns us about divisions over disagreements.
- Balance Over Extremism. Romans 14 and Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 speaks to balance in our lives. The balance we have in ourselves will influence how we view others and how others view us.
- Accept Our Doubts. I Peter 2:1-3 invites us to always study, to always double-check our faith. II Timothy 2:5 encourages us to be diligent in our investigation of God’s word. We should always be seeking for answers.
- Be Understanding, Not Judgmental. Romans 14:10-13 warns against judgment used as an obstacle. We like to throw stones. We fall into a trap of judgmental standard. Jesus, in Matthew 7, warns us against judging more strictly than God does.
- Give and Receive Trust. We need to know each other in our shared vulnerabilities. We need to know how to give and accept help. Romans 15 admonishes us to bear each other, even during times of burden.
- Value Individuality. We all have different qualities we bring to God’s service. We use those qualities together, and Romans 12:6-8 encourages us to embrace our individual gifts and qualities.
- Serve from Love. We offer our service, not as an obligation, but as a joy because of our love for each other. Romans 12:10 calls on us to preference one another and to be devoted in service to each other.
- Be Strengthened By Trials. I Peter 4:12 reminds us we may suffer for our faith. These times can tear us down, but we can help each other survive and grow stronger. James 1:2-4 tells us these trials build up faithful endurance.
- Security is in God. From what do we derive our sense of security – our achievements, our job, our friends? Ephesians 6:6-7 reminds us that our goal is not to be great in man’s eyes. Rather, we seek respect in God’s eyes.
- A Foundation in Our Relationship with God. Instead of our faith being rooted in rituals, obligations, or social pressures, our faith must be rooted in a loving relationship with God. I John 4:7-11 speaks to the love God shows us and the love we should willingly share in return. We have a foundation of love between us, God, and our fellow man.
How do we measure up? How would God measure our spiritual fitness? Each day, we should be working up to God’s standard. Today’s home runs won’t matter in tomorrow’s game. How are we growing in faith? We should be going after our faith with our entire heart, and, if we are doing that, we can help each other with their spiritual fitness. Our foundation and our attitudes will determine the success or failure we have in measuring up to the Bible’s standard of faith.
lesson by Mike Mahoney